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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.


(KLOR-ull HI-drate)


This medication is used as a sleeping aid (for insomnia).

How To Use

This is best taken 15 to 30 minutes before bedtime. Take capsules with a full glass of water or juice to prevent stomach upset. Swallow the capsules whole to avoid their bad taste. If using the liquid form, mix it in a glass of water or juice and drink. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for a longer period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor's approval. When used for extended periods, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Consult your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Side Effects

You may experience headache, stomach upset, dizziness or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop confusion, nightmares, loss of coordination, fainting or yellowing of the eyes or skin. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, breathing trouble. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially: heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach/intestinal ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems, history of alcohol or substance abuse, history of depression, any allergies. This medication is intended to cause drowsiness and sleep. Avoid tasks requiring alertness such as driving. Avoid or limit consumption of alcoholic beverages. Using both at the same time may result in serious adverse effects. Elderly persons are usually more sensitive to the effects of this medication. Use cautiously. Chloral hydrate should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication is excreted into breast milk and may cause sedation (sleepiness) in a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all the medications you may use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially of: warfarin, anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), alcohol use, any other drugs that may make you drowsy. Chloral hydrate can give false readings with Clinitest. Instead, use Clinistix to test your urine for sugar. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include decreased pupil size, slow or fast and shallow breathing, and vomiting.


Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication.